Props to Jillie, she never fails to keep me on my toes...do refer to her post in the tagboard which goes as follows:
<jillie>: hmm, funny how i also realized that darren reminds me of your everyday generic bimbo, who wishes he could see emily, but not people like his parents/family. *sweat* is that on purpose? ahahah!
I was almost about to reply that yups, Darren did at times seem like a dumb blonde, what with his endless "Oh I see"s and inadequacy to hold an unfumbling conversation with Kat. However, Jill's perspective was something altogether new - I'd always figured Emily alone would suffice for all of Darren's cherished memories of the living world, and now there's talk of family. Sheesh.
Then it dawned upon me.
The clueless guy persona, the loser with chicks, then now continuously pining for his "girl" (a very loosely used term here) but not his family? The pieces of the puzzle fitted perfectly! The blurred edges became crisp as a freshly baked cookie!
There could only have been one dude I was unconciously basing Darren on!
Fry of Futurama!
Hahah! Figures, doesn't it? And no prizes for guessing who plays the part of the orphaned-at-birth, kick-butt Leela! Now all we need to do is to get Nelson to start smoking cigars and downing beers like water.
Heck, it doesn't end there...you could even draw certain parallels between Mortie and Zapp Branigan, or the Spooks with those two annoying cop guys.
I was, all the while, getting inspiration from a defunct cartoon series! A fabulous one, but nonetheless a cartoon series!
Well hey, that's creativity for you...fashioning something new out of stuff you've seen and heard before.
Going back to our beloved protagonist Darren, I do believe the ship can still be steadied with the suddenly-crucial next exchange between Nelson and him. So we now have one more item added to the "to accomplish" list there - establish a neat lil' story for Darren's past that extends beyond "American High School Sitcom". Remember how I said in my previous Writer's Block that Kat is the only one whose past we don't know about? Well, scrap that off. We need pictures on all their pasts.
At the end of the day, what our lead dude is lacking here still boils down to likeability. Something which there's no recipe for. I could blah-blah-blah on about how the story would be better, but that would just be that: blah-blah-blah. Let's instead be assured that the story will get better!